DEVONPORT Services turned on the style in the second half to overcome Plymstock Albion Oaks 26-12 in an adapted rugby match at the new-look Rectory.
Services’ home ground has been out-of-bounds for the past year while the old wooden grandstand was removed, but rugby was back on Saturday for this friendly played under the current Covid-19 rules, which means scrums and maul are not allowed.
Devonport struggled to get going at all in the first half and Cornwall/Devon League side Oaks deservedly led 7-0 at the break thanks to a try from close range by David Byng after Services were penalised for holding on 10 metres from their own line.
The hosts, who play in South West One, were much better after the change of ends.
They should have scored in the opening minutes of the restart but somehow knocked on right on the try line.
However, midway through the half they did get the breakthrough they threatened when former Oaks player Matt Nayle showed his pace to score a fine try down the left.
After that Services’ confidence grew and three minutes later they added a second try when Andy Pond forced his way over from close range after Keir Murphy was just stopped on the line. Fly-half Alex Mawdsley converted to put Devonport 12-7 up.
It got better for them five minutes later when Robert Tagi broke down the wing to add try number three, which Mawdsley converted.
And, almost straight from the restart, Services broke down the other wing and Tomas Kersi ran in unopposed.
But credit to Oaks they kept going and the impressive Tom Richards scored a fine individual try in the last minute for them.
Plymstock will be back in action on Tuesday when they host the University of Plymouth, who Devonport Services will play next Saturday.
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